The Toronto District School Board has filed a $ 90 million lawsuit against the city’s fire department and police services and the Ontario Fire Marshal. York Memorial High School, Accusing the scene of not being placed under proper fire surveillance, which led to the “resurgence” of the initial small fire.
The lawsuit, filed in the Ontario High Court on Wednesday, also alleges that incident reports were altered in an attempt to suppress evidence of negligence on the part of fire services in connection with a school fire on Eglinton Avenue West. And Treadway Drive in May 2019.
The city of Toronto is named for overseeing the island of Toronto, and the province on behalf of the Fire Marshall Office.
None of the allegations in the claim statement have been proven in court.
“The city of Toronto will review the DTSB’s claim statement and respond appropriately through the courts,” Chief Communications Officer Brad Rose said when he reached the star via email.
“The City and Toronto Fire Service will not comment on the claim at this time.”
The star has also approached the province to comment.
A spokesman for the Toronto Police Department is speaking on behalf of the City Police Service Board for the matter.
The fire broke out at the York Memorial College, a 90 – year – old heritage building, and the school was “devastated by a massive fire on May 7, 2019 … to the building’s auditorium following a small fire on May 6, 2019,” the board said in a statement.
The fire, suspected to be an accident, was thought to be “under control” by Matthew Peck, head of the fire department, and the crew was later removed, but no one was able to protect the area overnight from the Toronto fire.
“TFS did not release firefighting surveillance in the building. The TFS assumed that the fire was out and that fire monitoring was not required,” the statement said.
“The age of the building and the many uncertainties surrounding the building construction assistant with its age include not only the flammability of its construction (i.e., celluloid insulation, cardboard and horse chair) and the presence of hidden spaces / voids but also the absence of walls and floor openings and a sprinkler system. There was a risk of a re-emergence of the fire, ”the statement said, adding that the Toronto Fire, Police and Fire Marshal’s Office” must be vigilant. “
Instead, police and fire left an untrained Toronto District School Board security guard with a decision that the board blamed in the report “driven primarily by the cost concerns of senior staff, which lacked the will and adequate resources to reduce overtime. ”
The statement from Fire Service told reporters that “DFS would have released a fire watch overnight. None of these things were actually done. ”
Peck gave media interviews where he “falsely declared to the DDSP, the media and others that he was‘ separate and distinct from the first fire on May 7, 2019 and the first fire on May 6, 2019, ’and that the scene was properly preserved overnight.
On May 17, the Toronto Fire received a call from the Fire Marshal’s Office stating that “the OFM (Fire Marshal’s Office) has come to a conclusion about the cause of the fire and that it will not look good on TFS.” Toronto Fire Services. ‘”
The Toronto Fire is said to have left some excellent paperwork, and after that call, “Some of the descriptive inputs in the TFS incident report regarding May 6, 2019 were altered in an attempt to suppress evidence of negligence on their part. Part of TFS. “
Peck met with the Fire Marshal’s Office and said it was “led by his brother John Beck” and that “as a result of the July 25, 2019 meeting between Fire Chief Beck and the OFM and concerns” about the TFS and OFM’s possible responsibility for the May 7, 2019 fire, The final OFM report was prepared to underestimate, mislead, cover up and suppress evidence of negligence and total negligence on the part of the OFM. ”
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The board is seeking compensation of $ 90 million.
Karen Falconer, interim director of education, said in a written statement that the board would “rebuild York Memorial College” regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit. It should be noted that the cost of the restructuring has been covered by the insurer of TDSB, who has filed this request to recover its policy payments and additional costs. If successful, these damages are expected to be paid for by city and / or provincial insurers. ”
No one was injured in the blaze, but 900 students and staff were evacuated.